This paper aims to discover and examine ways in which cultural factors shape the adoption and use of information technology for online teaching. This research focuses on influential early adopters in the tertiary education sector in Malaysia who have become change-agents by inspiring small networks of their peers. The study examines the concept of guanxi to understand the operation of trust and inspiration in networking and teamwork in the Asian academic environment. Findings from this research will enable individuals and institutions to better understand ways in which to optimise the online teaching and learning experience for staff.